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Warfare in the Middle Ages

The theme this year for the convention is Warfare in the Middle Ages (1000AD through 1500AD). That simple statement itself is a little controversial - did the Middle Ages only start in 1000AD? Wasn't the Renaissance well underway before 1500AD, at least in Italy? For our purposes, we wanted to concentrate on the period of 1000-1500, which sees a great refinement in a lot of different military technology areas, as well as changes in the composition of armies, fighting style, and even political and religious changes on fighting and warfare. So we called it The Middle Ages. We've been wrong before.

Games for this period run the gamut - they could be man-to-man skirmish games, small armies and warbands, jousting tournaments, medieval naval combat, or large set piece battles.

Some concepts that run through this period are this - armies composed from feudal obligation, knights, archery (longbow and crossbow), swords and spears, castles, cogs, heraldry, and of course, infantry and cavalry in armor.

Current rules that are VERY popular for the Middle Ages include Lion Rampant, SAGA (especially the Age of Crusades armies), Terry Gore's Medieval Warfare, L'Art De La Guerre, Triumph, Sword & Spear, Outremer: Faith and Blood, Hail Caesar, Swordpoint, Deus Vult, DBA, and many, many others.

Of course many of those rulesets cover a very broad period, so the Middle Ages are just a part. That is also true of a ruleset I have not seen at lot of our conventions, but which always gets high accolades. That ruleset is Shattered Lances available from Outpost Wargames (and OMM). There is a fansite with a ton of great army lists and links to articles and history.

Some examples of the larger, longer wars of this period include the Norman Invasion of England, the Crusades, the Baron's Wars, the Hundred Years War, and the Wars of the Roses.

As an example to follow for those unfamiliar with this period, here is a sampling of some of the battles of the Hundred Year's War, just to get started. Here is a very interesting (for wargamers) two part video on the Battle of Poitiers (part 1, part 2)

A theme for our convention doesn't mean that those are the only games you'll see - far from it. But it gives us a time period to think about, and also something for Game Masters to focus on, if they are undecided.

Will we have our usual WW2, Ancients, Civil War (American and English) and other periods well represented? Of course. But take time to look for those Middle Ages games that are being run. They are ALWAYS fun and interesting.

Call to Arms 2018
October 12-14, 2018
Williamsburg, Virginia

2018 Theme:
Warfare in the Middle Ages

Williamsburg Muster 2019
February15-17, 2019 Williamsburg, Virginia